RSI, Collision Conclusion, Artwork, and College
Letter? I Hardly Know Her! - July/August 2022
Welcome, WELCOME to Letter? I Hardly Know Her! I’m Apoorva (the her in question), a 17 y/o researcher, artist, writer, keynote speaker, and advocate for youth and gender minorities in STEAM. This newsletter is a means for me to keep track of my personal & professional growth, and to share all the good stuff I’m working on! First-timers: it’s great to meet you, I’m so glad you’re here! For my regular hardly-knowers, here’s your promised, extra special greeting: welcome again you ray of sunshine, seeing you again is like eating froyo—a wonderful experience that never gets old.
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As a heads up, I publish newsletters on each MONTH/MONTH, i.e. 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, … , 12/12. Is it the most efficient system? Frankly, no. But is it the most funky fresh? Absolutely it is.
It’s been a while, Hardly-Knowers! This one will be more like a summer newsletter since I didn’t send out one in July (for reasons that will soon be revealed). Onwards!
2022 Collision Conf Wrap-Up
Like I mentioned in the last newsletter, I was super fortunate to be speaker at the 2022 Collision Conference in Toronto this June with over 35,000 attendees!
On June 19, I spoke at Collision’s Corporate Innovation Summit, an invite-only event of 250 innovation leaders from the world’s largest organizations. Through intimate roundtable discussions, interactive masterclasses, and networking sessions, CIS aims to answer questions that keep heads of innovation and the C-suites of corporates up at night.
I hosted a CIS roundtable on “Integrating Gen Z’s culture to create the future of work and products.”
Every generation has its own values as consumers and creators, and the globalization of Gen Z culture is one that has never been seen before. How can companies keep up with this emerging generation and predict future trends that appeal to Gen Z in the age of social media? Companies will need to figure out how to adapt quickly to be at the forefront of the future of work, innovation, and creation for Gen Z.
Some of the incredible people who joined my roundtable were the Director of Innovation and Digital Technology at Formula 1, the President of CI&T, VP of Techstars, the CTO of ThoughtFocus, and more.
On June 20, I helped launch Walmart Canada’s Blue Labs Innovation Incubator with Lee Jeyes, the Head of Innovation, and Peyton! We spoke to an audience of over 200 people about how involving younger generations is crucial when creating the future of retail.
I also got to be part of Royal Bank of Canada’s fireside chat on how recruiting Gen Z helps you stay competitive in a race for tech talent with Senior Director Meagan Filion and TKS’s Head of Partnerships, Dan Jacob. I spoke about my own journey and how younger generations can get involved in innovation to create a better future.
I’m so grateful for the conversations I had at Collision with interesting, innovative, and kind people, like the dinner at Gusto with the Director of Innovation and Digital Technology at Formula 1, Pete Samara, the Managing Partner and President at KPMG, Armughan Ahmad, the Director of Innovation at Four Seasons, Nicole Diamond, Senior VP of the NBA, Scott Kaufman-Ross, Senior Manager at CIBC, Salimah Manji, and more. I had the opportunity to have 1-1 conversations with them about their work and life, and learned about where they think the future of enterprise is heading with the rise of emerging tech.
Because of Collision, I was incredibly lucky to meet inspiring leaders and mentors like Kelly Burton, PhD, CEO of Black Innovation Alliance, Siyabulela Mandela Ph.D., human rights activist, Ugochi Owo, CEO of Flindel, Vanessa Ford, COO of Kukua, and so many more amazing people who are changing the world.
Just as memorable as the conference were the moments I had with some of my best friends from The Knowledge Society (TKS)—the most genuine, kind, funny, and intelligent people I've ever met. I finally got to meet my wonderful directors Ian and Damian in-person for the first time, as well as the iconic Dan Jacob—I can’t thank you all enough for your unceasing support for all of us throughout the year.
I’m so grateful to have been part of the conference and for our massive AirBnB family. The four days were a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’ll never forget. I can't wait to see what the next year brings!
Research Science Institute (RSI) 2022
This summer, I spent six incredible weeks at the Center for Excellence in Education’s (CEE) 39th Research Science Institute (RSI) at MIT with 91 other kids from all over the world. I had the opportunity to work on research in numerical linear algebra with my mentor, Mo Chen, a graduate student at MIT under Professor Steven Johnson. My project was on “Sparse Symmetrizers of Diagonalizable Real-Lambda Matrices”—basically my first dip into a more computational and applied side of math. I learned how to code in the language Julia and got a nice introduction to convex optimization problems.
I made unforgettable memories at RSI with beautiful people I know will become lifelong friends (and I already miss them very much). I had the honor of being chosen by my 2022 cohort to be “Rickoid of the Year,” named after the late Admiral H. G. Rickover, a co-founder of CEE. I will definitely be living up to the title and organizing some reunion events for us.
RSI was absolutely transformative, life-changing experience for me, and I feel so lucky to have been a part of it with this wonderful, brilliant group of people.
!! ARTWORK ALERT !!
I also designed a cover for our RSI Summerbook (a yearbook but for the summer), and the cover ended up winning! It was a trip down memory lane creating it. <3
The Fun, the Fresh, & the Funky
My summer passed in a blur of Collision and RSI, so I’m just going to drop some fun, fresh, and funky pictures from those events here.
Here I am in front of the Collision sign with one of my favorite people, Rachel!
This is my wonderfully chaotic counselor group, Treeli. <3
The 4th of July fireworks we watched along the Charles River!
Swanky casino night. ;)
Our big group picture during the last week with everyone at RSI. <3
Coming up next on Keeping Up With (K)Apoorva..
I can’t believe I’m already a senior, but I now have to get my college apps done. Please wish me luck. <3
Diversity in Action Magazine Feature (Sept/Oct issue)
I’m so excited to have done an interview with the Diversity in Action magazine earlier this year for their September/October issue. Their mission is to raise awareness and help to promote diversity, inclusion and equity, particularly in STEAM fields. The digital/print publication, mobile-friendly website, and social media following reach more than 250,000 diverse students and professionals.
This September, I’ll be starting the second-year program at The Knowledge Society, Activate. I can’t wait, we’ll be using what we learned in the Innovate program to build projects to make an impact on the world’s biggest problems—it’s going to be fun!
Gems in STEM (Topic TBD)
As always, there will be more articles published for my column on Medium, so make sure to follow me there to stay updated!
And that’s a wrap, friends! I hope y’all are enjoying your summer so far. It has definitely been a summer to remember for me. <3
I’ll see you again in September!
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